Concluding the week's look at property folk on the rise, as voted for by Place readers, published in association with integrated communications agency Citypress.
Colliers Manchester office advisory team
Much has been made in the agency world of the fate of local independent practices in the increasingly globalised and consolidated surveying marketplace. An intriguing case study is unfolding in Manchester with the beefing up of Colliers International, a global heavyweight but under-represented in Manchester – until now. Late last year Mike Hawkins left local independent WHR Property Consultants, followed swiftly by Peter Gallagher from small niche rival P3, to support Colliers' ambitions to tap into Manchester's thriving market. Further recruitment followed with Nick Nelson, from CBRE, and Scott Shufflebottom, from Lambert Smith Hampton, to work alongside incumbent director Rupert Barron. Hawkins and Gallagher have set a public objective of securing major instructions within 12 months to match those of big hitters CBRE, GVA and JLL, all international corporates with more staff and better order books in Manchester.
Wes Erlam / senior development surveyor / Muse Developments
One of a growing band of development managers at Muse, arguably the region's most prolific large-scale developer and getting busier through the recovery. Erlam, who joined Muse from United Utilities six years ago, led Muse's latest phase of Smithfield in Manchester, a 77-unit apartment block sold in one of the city's first private rented sector deals, to Global Real Estate Investments late last year. He will now tackle the listed Mackie Mayor building which could be eligible for Business Premises Renovation Allowance tax investment under the government's new assisted areas status map. Erlam is also working on the major town centre scheme Stockport Exchange with the local authority, where phase two will be on site by the end of this year delivering a 115-bed hotel, due to prelet shortly, 50,000 sq ft office and new square. Muse's extensive pipeline will ensure busy times ahead.
Dan Crossley / partner / WHR Property Consultants
Investment agent at the independent Manchester practice who has helped local investors make money through the downturn. Regular clients include Anthony Hadari, who has just bought 20-38 High Street, a 1960s office block behind Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre off receivers for £4.3m. Crossley sold the Commercial Buildings on Cross Street for a profit after a short-term hold to Motel One, which is now going through planning. Crossley advised buyers Moorfield Real Estate and Oaktree Capital Management on the £41m acquisition of 100 Barbirolli Square from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. The 140,000 sq ft office building is let to DLA Piper, Ernst & Young and Addleshaw Goddard.
Matt Fitton / development manager / Peel
Peel Logistics is the marketing initiative to promote 66 sites owned by Peel and partner Harworth Estates containing 6,000 acres and capable of holding 60m sq ft of warehouse space, with a potential investment value of £4bn. At its launch in MIPIM back in March, Fitton hinted that speculative development was being considered with funding from pension funds keen to tap into the online retail-led shed boom. Port Salford and Logistics North would be the most likely recipients of the new spec sheds.
Gavin Elliott / director / BDP
Elliot is a main board director and head of BDP's Manchester studio. Beyond the figurehead role, his day job involves advising clients on the sustainable building design and town planning aspects of major projects, such as the Manchester Town Hall Extension and Central Library. He takes a passionate interest in whether the recovery will produce sustainable development or if, instead, there will be a rush to build without due consideration for the environment.
Bernard Greep / director / Peter Brett Associates
Since becoming head of PBA Manchester following the Roger Tym merger in 2011, Greep has overseen growth from seven to 17 staff. Greep advises an extensive client base across public and private sectors, especially in retail and residential planning. Notable recent successes include securing allocation of Green Belt land in West Lancashire for housing.
Steve Barnes / development director / Langtree
After quietly keeping its head down through the recession the Newton-le-Willows-based investor and developer has emerged into the light with a couple of spectacular coups to snap up massive post-industrial development sites, from Shell in Carrington, and the former Parkside colliery in St Helens off Prologis. Barnes is one of the trusted lieutenants of chief executive John Downes and Langtree owner Bill Ainscough. Further commercial activity is planned at the old Kingston House site in central Liverpool and Sci-Tech Daresbury in Halton.
Steve Parry / managing director / Neptune
The prolific and at times outspoken MD of the privately owned Neptune which has navigated the crisis well, remodelling its mixed-use New Brighton scheme and delivering a genuinely regenerative project against the odds. Neptune also won a drawn-out planning battle to redevelop the historic Shot Tower next to the Shropshire Union Canal in Chester. Challenges remain, such as tackling eyesore sites in Lime Street and Baltic Triangle, both in Liverpool.
Lee McCarren / chief executive / Forrest
Super-ambitious McCarren joined Preston-based Forrest in 2009 as chief executive with 25 years' experience in the sector. In 2013 he led the second successful management investment buyout, and the company now has an order book of £1bn and turnover of over £100m compared to £46m in 2009. In December, Forrest signed a potential £120m residential solar power generation funding agreement with Macquarie Bank. Funding from the Feed in Tariff paid by government to renewable energy producers will be used to repay the finance by Macquarie Bank.